Sri Lanka optimistic about lifting cricket suspension. SLC

International Cricket Council chief executive Geoff Allardice, held positive talks with Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe and the sports minister, raising hopes that the suspension imposed in November last year will be lifted.

An important meeting took place last Friday between the President of Sri Lanka and the CEO of the International Cricket Council (ICC), Geoff Allardice. The Asian nation's Sports Minister, Harin Fernando, was also present and expressed his satisfaction with the constructive meeting. 

The important meeting between these key officials gives the southern island nation hope that the suspension imposed on them since 10 November, when the ICC suspended the Sri Lanka Cricket Board from ICC membership, will be lifted. 

The action followed the sacking of the Sri Lanka Cricket Board by the former sports ministry and its replacement by an interim committee led by World Cup-winning coach Arjuna Ranatunga. The decision was challenged and the matter was taken to the Court of Appeal, where the case is still pending. 

It's worth noting that the ICC suspended Sri Lanka during the ICC ODI Cricket World Cup in November last year, citing political interference in the governing body due to government actions. This also led to the ICC Men's Under-19 Cricket World Cup being moved to South Africa, starting this Friday, 19 January.

Since then, with a change of sports minister, there have been two visits by ICC officials to assess the level of political interference in the island nation. Following this meeting, Geoff Allardice will now attend the ICC meeting in March and present his conclusions. The meeting will be crucial to the future of Sri Lankan cricket and its suspension. 

During the meeting, the possibility of a return to international cricket was discussed, pending the lifting of the suspension by the ICC in the coming month of March, as mentioned in the meeting.   

Confident about the outcome of the meeting and the future of such a popular sport in his country, Sri Lanka's Minister of Sports, Fernando wrote on X: "I had the great pleasure of meeting with ICC CEO Geoff Allardyce, and we had a constructive discussion on the way forward for SLC."